Algarvio Luís Costa finishes Paracycling World Championships in 9th place

"I'm satisfied, because I'm progressing well and I feel very motivated for the period that separates me from Tokyo", says the Algarvian

The Algarve rider Luís Costa finished in 9th place in the long distance race of the H5 class, of the Paracycling World Championships, which ended this Sunday, June 13th, in Cascais. 

The runner was the best Portuguese, having put into practice the idealized tactic: not going into collision with the strongest opponents in the class, trying to follow in a second group that would allow him to try to overtake some competitors who took off from the front of the race.

The 67,2 kilometer race was initially animated by an escape from the Italian Diego Colombari and the Dutchman Johan Reekers. The two ended up not being able to resist the pursuit of the four strongest in the peloton, the Dutch Mitch Valize and Tim de Vries, the French Loic Vergnaud and the Irish Gary O'Reilly.

The gold medal was discussed by this quartet, with Valize and Vergnaud standing out from the others for an exciting sprint, in which the Netherlands representative prevailed, who repeated at the Worlds what he had achieved at last week's European, the one-two time trial and background test. In the fight for bronze, Tim de Vries was the best, who said goodbye to the status of world champion.

Further back, Luís Costa's group ended up failing to reach the initial fugitives.

The Portuguese would finish in ninth position, at 5m12s.

“I know that I'm still not in a position to risk going into shock. I found myself in a group with two other athletes and, as we weren't losing much forward, we collaborated to try to catch some of the other athletes. I'm satisfied, because I'm progressing well and I feel very motivated for the period that separates me from Tokyo», said the Algarvian.

Four more Portuguese were also in action. Rúben Garcia and João Pinto competed in the H4 class, occupying the 25th and 26th positions, respectively. Both were one lap away from the winner, Frenchman Riadh Tarsim, fastest in a five-man sprint, who also took German Vico Merklein, second, and Spaniard Luis Miguel García-Marquina, third, to the podium.

In H4 also ran two representatives of the National Team. Flávio Pacheco was ranked 11th and Carlos Neves finished in 14th position. Both were doubled by the winner, the Dutchman Jetze Plat, who revalidated the long-distance world title, joining this victory to that of the time trial, on Friday. The podium was completed by the Austrian Thomas Fruhwirth and the Swiss Fabien Recher.

“It was my first World Championship. I did a good test within the physical conditions I have. I live in Luxembourg, where spring was very cold and rainy. In May I was only able to train on the street three times, besides it was always in rolls. But that's not why I didn't win», jokes Carlos Neves, who started paracycling three years ago.

On the last day of competition, 14 world titles were awarded. The most victorious nation on Sunday was Italy, with four rainbow jerseys. The Netherlands followed with three. These are also the countries that top the list of the most victorious nations in Cascais. Italy had 13 gold medals throughout the competition.

The Netherlands won the nine titles. The third team with the most victories during the World Cup was Great Britain, with six climbs to the highest place on the podium.

At a World Championship in which 39 countries participated, 21 carry medals in their luggage.

“I leave here calmly, because we meet expectations. The only bitter taste was in the C2 class bottom race, in which a tactical oversight by Telmo Pinão prevented him from being in the discussion of the first places. Overall, it was a positive experience for all the runners who were here and who deserve congratulations for being competing among the best in the world», summarizes José Marques, national coach.